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Old January 6th, 2006, 10:34 AM   #1
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Should I make the jump to Final Cut Studio?

Hello everyone!
OK, so I've thought about this quite a bit, and I need other peoples opinions. I guess I should start out by telling all of you a little bit about my background. I just started getting into video editing/production about 2 years ago. I graduate this May with a degree in Computer and Info Technology (I'm kicking myself now because I wish I would have gone into Video Production). I recently bought a GL2 this past summer and I love it. I can honestly see my tallents improving and I love doing this stuff! I want to pursue video even more, and I think the way to do that is to upgrade what I'm using to edit with. Anyway, here are a list of the programs I use for my editing:

Final Cut Express HD
Motion
LiveType (haven't used it much but I'm learning)
Soundtrack
iDvd/Toast6 for authoring... ick... :/

I was wondering if you all think it would be worth me upgrading my software to Final Cut Studio. Before I graduate, I can get a sweet discount on it (w/ College discount = $699, w/o discount [retail] = $1299). So what do you all think? Would it be wise for me to make the plunge?
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Old January 6th, 2006, 11:01 AM   #2
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Reasons why not:
A- The editing programs more or less do the same thing. A cut or dissolve in FCP is the same as the cut and dissolves in FCE. And 95% of the time you're doing cuts and dissolves.
B- Software loses value fast. It has a shelf life of maybe 4 years at most.
C- You could be spending the money on stuff you need... i.e. production budget, lights, etc.

2- What's wrong with iDVD? It can save a lot of time versus DVD authoring programs. It does have limitations, but for what it is- it's nice because it saves you time.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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Good points, Glenn, but I have bad news, Brett. You're thinking of getting the educational version right? Well, Apple doesn't allow upgrades of the educational software so if Final Cut 6 comes out, you won't be able to upgrade. Which leads into the next problem, Final Cut 6 and the new version of Final Cut Studio HD is coming out within the next few months or so, so if you wanted the latest and greatest, depending on when it is available, you could possibly be missing out on that nice educational price anyway.

Look at it this way. Final Cut Studio is about $1,300 right now for the full package. The educational version is $700 and Upgrade versions are about $700 too. Plus, I don't think you would be legally allowed to make a product for sale with the educational version, unless it was some small project like wedding videos or student films that nobody else sees, without buying the full version anyway. If you buy the retail, you'll be able to upgrade for the next two or three versions and with possible discount. That's a savings over the educational version by a longshot by paying for the full version outright and then getting more functionality later on on all fronts. Plus, since you're not going to be a student anymore, you'll just have to buy the full version later down the road.
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:36 PM   #4
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Good points guys. Thank you for your honest opinions. I do realize that if I get the academic version, upgrades later are a no go.

The reason I don't like iDVD is that it has a problem with anamorphic video. Whenever I export out of FCEHD and import that video into iDVD, the DVD plays back as 4:3. And no, it's not my DVD player, this is a known issue with iDVD. Just check the Apple Discussions if you don't believe me. So I'm either forced to shoot in 4:3 and letterbox it or shoot in 16:9 and edit it in a 4:3 sequence.

Anyway, I think you guys have given some very good points. I think I'll maximize on what I have to work with and then later maybe think about the upgrade.
Thanks!
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Old January 6th, 2006, 12:58 PM   #5
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I have both FCE and FCP. If your FCE is an educational one then it has the same issue that Jack points out. I disagree with Glenn tho. If you are going to try and make a living, your time is most important. There's a couple of things in FCP that aren't in FCE that save you lots of time. One is batch capture and the other is COmpressor (coincidently a batch output). During editing, I find the FCP keyframing and motion controls superior and more efficient than FCE. There may be other diffs that slip my mind. My FCE system is just for simple stuff for use by less experienced staff.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 02:30 PM   #6
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Apple is going to stop selling the individual apps soon. As a result, they are offering great deals on upgrades to the full Final Cut Studio from the individual apps. See:
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/topquestions.html

I'm not 100% sure if this is legal but here is a great option worth checking out.

1. Buy the Soundtrack Pro upgrade for $99. You own Soundtrack so this is legit.
2. Then after Feb 1 get the entire Final Cut Studio for $199. You'll own Soundtrack Pro and should be eligible for the upgrade to the entire suite.

You'll have two "copies" of ST Pro but you're total cost will be $300.

Anyone know if this is legit?
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Old January 26th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #7
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Educational versions are not upgradeable. If you buy an upgrade and apply it to an educational version the serial number won't be accepted. However they are generally priced such that buying the full package is still cheaper than upgrading a non-academic version.

Second, there is no restriction on what you can do with the educational versions, just on who may buy them. See: http://www.apple.com/legal/sla/finalcutstudio.html

Quote:
Academic Copies: If the Apple Software package has an academic label or if you acquired the Apple Software at an academic discount, you must be an Eligible Educational End User to use the Apple Software. "Eligible Educational End Users" means students, faculty, staff and administration attending and/or working at an educational institutional facility (i.e., college campus, public or private K-12 schools).
I keep seeing people say that FCP 6 is coming soon. That may very well be true, but nobody really knows. Bear in mind that Apple is releasing the universal binary of FCP 5 and the rest of the Prod Studio on March 31. It would seem strange to me if they then introduced FCP 6 immediately afterwards.... but I suppose anything is possible.
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Old January 29th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #8
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Brian,

Where can you get FCStudio for $199.00? the lowest I've seen it for is $499.00?
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Old January 29th, 2006, 05:23 PM   #9
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Look at the link in Brian's post (also below). He's suggesting that you buy a copy of either Motion 2 or Soundtrack pro for starters (assuming you can still find them). That might cost you in the $100-$200 range. Then for $200 you can upgrade that single application for the full FC Studio suite. So you total cost would be in the $300-$400 range.

Quote:
Apple is offering low-cost upgrades from retail versions of Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 2, Soundtrack Pro, and Production Suite. When you take advantage of this offer, you’ll get the Universal version of Final Cut Studio when it becomes available.

Final Cut Pro 5 $99
DVD Studio Pro 4, Motion 2, or Soundtrack Pro $199
Final Cut Pro 4.X/HD or Production Suite $199
Final Cut Pro 1, 2, or 3 $699
http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/topquestions.html
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Old January 30th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #10
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Boyd,

Those are upgrades. The least I've seen educational versions of FCStudio is $499.00
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Old January 30th, 2006, 06:56 PM   #11
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I understand that, but Brian was suggesting an upgrade strategy using the commercial versions as I described. Because of Apple's promotional upgrade policy this might actually be cheaper than buying the educational version, and you would end up with the full version which would be eligible for future upgrades, unlike educational versions.
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Old January 30th, 2006, 10:59 PM   #12
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Yes, and it's a sound idea for people who already own FCP or FCStudio.
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Old February 1st, 2006, 10:57 PM   #13
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If you want to learn how to do it right, BUY IT!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brett Whited
I can honestly see my tallents improving and I love doing this stuff! I want to pursue video even more, and I think the way to do that is to upgrade what I'm using to edit with. Would it be wise for me to make the plunge?
(EDIT - Okay, I just saw that you have Final Cut Express HD rather than iMovie but I'll leave the Post in anyway:)

It seems like this Thread has gotten a little off track. But, I guess money can do that.

However, if you really want to take editing and Post-Production to the next level then it really is a no-brainer ... UPGRADE to the Final Cut Studio.

There is no comparison to the "i" products if you want to learn more about how to do it for real. A "cut" may be a "cut" and a "dissolve" may be a "dissolve" but the FCP is much deeper than that. You learn to J and L cut, you'll have the tools (and tracks!) to create a lush bed to cut over, you'll learn the techniques behind Ken Burns!

You'll take the next step.

In addition FCP is INTEGRATED into the workflow of Motion and Soundtrack Pro ... you can't do that in iMovie. DVD Studio Pro blows away iDVD for sheer control. You'll love seeing your DVD graphically.

Finally, even if you can't upgrade the educational version of Final Cut Studio it will last you a long time. Long enough at least for you to figure out if you want to go PRO down the road.

Think of it in credit hours at your college. Is it worth the price of 3 credit hour class?

By the way, if you do go for it get some of the Apple Certified Training books ... they'll get you moving quickly.

Best of luck and enjoy the journey!
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 09:13 AM   #14
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Well, I did it. I purchased a retail version of Motion 2. I then plan on sending that copy into Apple to get the upgrade for $199... which is a really sweet deal. I mean, my copy of Motion 2 only cost $315 from CompUSA, plus the $199 for the upgrade to FCP Studio, that's only about $520. Thats waaayyy better than paying $1000+ for the whole shabang. :)

Oh, and by the way. I have a feeling that FCP Studio 6 will be released in March. I just say that because if you read the fine print on the PDF form for the upgrade found here:
http://www.apple.com/universal/crossgrade/
It says that the offer is good until Dec. 2006. That is really far off, and why would they NOT put out the new version to everyone, especially now while they are doing the upgrade?
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Old February 3rd, 2006, 01:26 PM   #15
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Hi,

Brett, i am planning on doing the same thing.. i am going to buy motion 2 from my local Comp USA, and then trade up to the whole suite.. i just hope it all works out.. a week or so ago, i was at a local Apple Store, and i asked the question about doing this, and they told me they had not heard that, and that they doubted that it was possible to do so..I know i have posting here showing links to Apple talking about it.. just hope it is true!!

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